The Ohio Legislature has approved a bill legalizing CBD sales and implementing a pilot program for industrial hemp cultivation while removing hemp from the state’s drug code. The bill specifically allows CBD-derived cosmetics, dietary supplements, pet products, and products for human consumption.
The measure allows universities to enroll in the hemp program but does not require farmers to partner with institutions to obtain a license for growing the crop. Like the majority of other state-approved programs, the state allows only hemp crops containing no more than 0.3 percent THC, requiring annual random inspections of farms to ensure the crops do not exceed that threshold, according to the bill text. The measure includes a misdemeanor penalty for a licensed cultivator growing so-called hot crops, which includes a $150 fine; all subsequent violates carry a $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail.
The measure unanimously passed the Senate and was approved in the House 89-3 on Wednesday. Both chambers are led by Republicans.
Republican Sen. Steve Huffman, a co-sponsor of the bill, told Fox 8 that the reforms represent “an incredible opportunity” for the state’s farmers “to help diversify their crops.”
“It is important to understand that hemp is not marijuana, it is much more versatile and lacks an appreciable amount of THC to cause any psychotropic effects.” – Huffman, to Fox 8
Last year, the state Pharmacy Board declared CBD a controlled cannabis product under the state’s law. The new law will allow the state’s retailers to immediately begin selling CBD once its signed by Gov. Mike DeWine. According to multiple news reports, DeWine is expected to sign the bill.